'Essakane Film' is a feature length documentary about the most remote music festival in the world - the Festival au Désert - and the battle to make it happen. Once a year, just outside of Timbuktu in the sand dunes of the Sahara, a music festival that serves to sustain peace and resolve regional conflict rocks the socks off an audience of thousands for three days straight. From Robert Plant to Jimmy Buffett, musicians from around the world have journeyed through the mystical terrain of the Sahara to jam with Malian, Tuareg, and West African musicians at the Festival au Désert.
As a homegrown approach to sustaining peace, democracy, and for developing tourism in Mali, the festival has brought significant cultural awareness and economic development to the local communities in the region and the tourism sector in Mali. But sadly, over the past few years, security warnings issued by Western governments have increased, affecting the attendance at the festival and threatening its viability. But that will not stop the festival organizers, the community, and the musicians who rock the stage from putting on another great show.
In January of 2011 the filmmakers traveled to Timbuktu to film the Festival au Désert and conduct interviews with many of the film’s characters including Vieux Farka Touréand Banning Eyre. The documentary is currently in post-production and the intended release is spring of 2012. To get you excited the Essakane Film team have released a teaser trailer which you can check out below!